Texas State Veggie Fair 2012 Recap

No fair is complete without a wristband! Source: mollyjade

I had a lovely time at Riverchon park on Sunday. The weather was beautiful, if a bit muggy, and the park was crowded with families. I couldn’t stay for long, so I focused on my goals. See Ginny Messina talk. Eat at Zombies food truck. See as much else as I could.

Ginny Messina with a sample vegan meal plan that incorporates Asian and Mediterranean food patterns. Source: mollyjade

Ginny’s talk was in the rec center gymnasium. There was a small crowd of people there to learn about vegan nutrition. A few take home messages: Make the majority of your diet fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts. But, nothing plant-based should be off limits. To protect your bones, get enough calcium (same amount recommended to average American, 1000mg), get enough protein, and load up on fruits and vegetables. And, as always, anyone on a vegan or nearly vegan diet should make sure foods fortified with b-12 or b-12 supplements are a part of their routine.

Zombie's Food Truck. Source: mollyjade

Aftewards, I joined the long line for Zombie’s Food Truck. The line moved surprisingly fast. They had one or two people taking orders and money, and several others preparing food. Sadly, they were out of the dish I wanted, the Buffalo Joe. In fact, the person in front of me AND the person behind me tried to oder it, too! Just means we’ll all have to come back another time.

Source: mollyjade

Instead, I tried the Bratwurst plate: a handmade veggie bratwurst, potato salad, sauerkraut, and a roll. I’m not sure I’ve ever had German potato salad before (I know!), so I can’t say how this compares to traditional. It was a tad sweet, which surprised me, and the potato chunks were on the small size. The bratwurst was really good dipped in mustard. By far, the best part of the plate was the sauerkraut. I let my mom steal a bite, and she agreed. The roll was unfortunately a bit dry and bland, but I didn’t come to the Texas State Veggie Fair for plain bread. Instead, I saved room for samples.

My mom tried the PB Chocolate Crunch cupcake from Capital City Bakery and declared it better than both her birthday cakes from the day before. (Some birthdays call for two cakes.) But everyone knows vegan cupcakes are the gateway food.

Utpon's Naturals hickory seitan. Source: mollyjade

For the exhibitors, I loved the samples I tried from Tasty Bite. The portions were generous, which is good because I couldn’t get enough of the eggplant dish. They also had these neat little cardboard serving utensils which we all spent a few moments marveling over. Upton’s Naturals was sampling a new hickory smoked seitan. The seitan was really good, though if they’re going for a bacon imitation, the texture is not quite there. But this seitan would work perfectly in bean dishes.

It was a really nice event and I enjoyed overhearing people say things like “wait, this is vegan?” or “This is the best corndog I’ve ever had in my life.” Congrats, TSVF on a successful event!

Sunday: Austin and Dallas

Texans, you have some hard choices to make this Sunday. Dallas or Austin. Fried food or baked goods. Puppies or Gene Baur. Texas State Veggie Fair or Austin Bake Sale for SARA.

This is the third Texas State Veggie Fair, and it’s looking to be a great event. Lots of great speakers, music, and vegan food. This is the first year I’m able to go to the State Veggie Fair, and I’m really looking forward to trying new foods and meeting new people. On my to do list, Ginny Messina, Zombie’s Food Truck, and jugglers.

For people in Austin, the bake sale for SARA is the place to be. SARA is an animal shelter that cares for animals that often can’t be placed elsewhere very easily. Their specialty is old, sick, or abused dogs. They shelter more than 800 dogs, cats, and farm animals.

Lazy Smurf organized this bake sale when she heard that SARA was in danger of losing its electricity (a big deal in a steaming hot Texas summer). Let me tell you, if you’re ever in need of fundraising, get Lazy Smurf on your side. She plans wonderful events and can sell the hell out of a vegan cookie. There’s still time to sign up for the bake sale, or, if you’re not up to baking, come buy lots of goodies. The sale will be Sunday, October 21, from 2 to 5 PM at Counter Culture.

Texas State Veggie Fair 2012

Can you smell it in the air? It’s fall. Which means state fair time. And the Texas State Fair also means the Texas State Veggie Fair. The third annual Texas State Veggie Fair will be at Reverchon Park in Dallas on Sunday, October 21. Besides the usual carnival games for kids, vegan eats, and music, this year’s fair features an art contest for all ages and a fried food contest.

The veggie side-show avengers are the inspiration for the creative writing contest. Source: Texas State Veggie Fair

Art entries can be photography, paintings/drawings, or creative writing. I’m looking forward to seeing entries for the 10 and under category, because nothing makes my heart melt more than a six-year-old’s drawing of dancing vegetables. Deadline for art submission is Sunday, September 16. That’s this Sunday, so get drawing!

2012 speakers include Gene Bauer, founder of Farm Sanctuary, and Ginny Messina, coauthor of Vegan for Life.

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Other upcoming vegan festivals include Texas VegFest (Austin, April 6, 2013) and VegFest Houston (summer 2013).